ZynthianOS 2103 Stable Released

I am pleased to let you know that Zynthian 2103 is released today. This is the much anticipated stable release that so many people have contributed to and help to test. If you have been updating your Zynthian regularly then you will have experienced the enhancements and bug fixes that have been applied over the past year since Jofemodo announced Zynthian OS Buster SD Image: Next Release.

If you are currently using the master branch and update you will be moved to the stable branch. We aim to keep this as stable and defect free as we can although plan to update regularly so that we have a rolling stable release. For production we recommend use of the stable branch.

There is also the testing branch. You can opt-in to the testing branch by using webconf to enable testing under the SOFTWARE->Repositories menu. Testing branch should be familiar to you as it is similar to the old master branch. We plan to keep the testing branch as stable as we can whilst adding features and bug fixes more rapidly than the stable branch. Please subscribe and use testing, giving us your feedback and bug reports. We recommend using testing for non-production purposes. You may wish to experience new features but then switch back to stable for rehearsals and performances. (I recommend rehearsing with stable so that you maintain a level of familiarity to support performance.)

We anticipate 2103 will be the last stable release based on 32-bit Debian Buster. There will be hot-fixes and point releases to deliver urgent bug fixes and some feature enhancements.

You may notice a more robust development, test and release process which we hope will improve user experience. Stable should always work and testing should have only small disruption (we aspire to none).

Jofemodo will update the image so that it is based on the current stable branch, i.e. 2103. I do not expect updates to the image until a change occurs to the stable release, i.e. the image will remain aligned with the stable branch. (This should reduce confusion on what image to install and the behaviour after installation.)

In the words of our beloved leader, update and enjoy.


Hurra :champagne::clinking_glasses:

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Congrats! :partying_face:

Also sounds great from end-user perspective, up to this point updating has been a bit of a chocolate box experience: you never knew what you’d get. :sweat_smile: While that’s a fun mode in it’s own right for playing around, it’s not what one wants for playing to perform, so this sounds like a nice arrangement. :+1:


The way zynthian evolves under caring guidence of @jofemodo and all the precious members of our international family is amazing ! Any words of gratitude are not enough !


Hi @zynthianers!

I have created a script for updating SD images. It takes a SD image and updates it to the last stable version. This is done in a on-line server, using CustomPiOS (qemu) for virtualizing the RBPi. I will use this script for generating updated SD images when the stable branch is updated.

Please, download and test:


You don’t need to update after booting, as this SD image includes the latest stable changes.



I have downloaded ZynthianOS stable image and using it on my Zynthian V4.1 with Raspberry Pi 4. So far so good. I am approaching this like a new machine and writting notes on my experience like a critical journalist might. It is not all easy reading but little is new to us. There are areas that can be improved to give better OOBE and ongoing UX but it does seem to mostly behave as it is supposed to. If I can be bothered to find somewhere to post this I might blog about this experience. A blog sounds like a commitment to more verbal drivel and I quite like the idea of persuing some kind of quest to improve my playing so maybe that might happen. Anyway - this is good news. Congrats @jofemodo. A stable image with stable update channel - people can start to feel confident in using this for their great remergence-from-lockdown gigs.


SD Image working, yeap. Setup of my scrap Zynthian by webconfig also. So quickly to add synth layers. Oh, all LV2-plugins are disabled, ZynthianOS 2103 Stable is so clear and shinning :slight_smile: nice… maybe I turn on some LV2plugins … maybe :face_with_monocle:

Yep! I noticed that. I wonder if we should enable a selection of LV2 plugins by default?

OK! I can confirm the problem. I’m trying to generate a new image with a default list of enabled plugins. As soon as i have it, i will delete the current one.

BTW, an interesting task for the crew would be creating a curated list of plugins to enable by default :wink:


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Just to Say:
thank you all
& Keep on the good work with good vibes for this brillant piece of software/hardware ( that are free to learn, understand ,hack, develop,… contribute)
Music is the best

BTW, an interesting task for the crew would be creating a curated list of plugins to enable by default :wink:

I do have my own personal list, which i tried to keep to a minimum that gives options without being overwhelming, I’ll post it here we can move it later if need be:

  • Calf Monosynth → Great sounding mono synth, really good for, well, mono synth stuff, bass and leads
  • Dexed → Needs no introduction, great FM and tons of presets
  • DrumSynth → Synthesized drums with a full octave of sounds, adsr and compressor included
  • Fabla → Sampler/drum sampler
  • Helm → Amazing plugin, can do almost anything, good for digital/harsh sounds
  • MDA JX10 → substractive soft-synth inspired by some Roland machines from the 80
  • Noize Mak3r → Classical subtractive synth, great for learning with some really good sounds if programmed well
  • Obxd → Really really good emulation of Oberheim OB-X. Great for pads and strings/brass
  • Raffo synth → digital emulator of a minimoog synthesizer
  • Surge → Incredibly powerful wavetable synthesizer, supports MPE
  • amsynth → Analog Modelling Synthesizer with a classic subtractive topology.

These are all working well in zynthian (with a 4g Rpi4, the only one that can be overly demanding is surge).
There might be some redundant options in this list.


Nice @Pastitas !

It’s a good starting point and it include many of my favorite synths too.

I would add:

  • Pianoteq LV2
  • MDA ePiano
  • string machine
  • synthv1
  • padthv1

Perhaps we should put a limit for the size of the default list of synths, audio FXs, MIDI FXs & generators. Let’s say:

  • Synths => 15
  • Audio FXs => 30
  • MIDI FXs => 20
  • Generators => 10

The most difficult list to choose is the audio FXs one. There are several hundred of them and reducing the list to 30 will be challenging.

We should have some kind of criteria for doing this selection. The default list should be useful and inspiring for the average user. Also, it should be a kind of showcase of zynthian possibilities.

Regarding DrumSynth and Fabla, it would be nice to have a decent preset collection for them. Could you do some research about it?

Also, when using the 808 preset, i always get a “click” on the kick release. I tried to tweak the compression, attack, decay, etc. parameters but the click is always there. Could you confirm that kick sample for 808 is OK for you?


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I went through the synths today, testing each for subjective quality, quantity of presets, uniquness (within the set) and processing / CPU load. I mostly agree but would suggest:

  • Remove Surge - it very quickly causes xruns. We don’t want the OOBE to be clicks and warning flashes
  • Do we want Pianoteq in there twice? I certainly like (prefer) the LV2 but would prefer to have one instance and it feels inappropriately confusing for new users to have both
  • Vex is quite a nice addition
  • I wondered about The infamous cellular automation synth - it only has 15 presets but is medium CPU (~15%) and offers something interesting / different (I don’t use it but this is an objective exercise for me)

These mods would push the synts to 16 which may be okay (+1).
I was going to look at audio effects with someone else who might be better placed to make some judgment calls but it will be tricky. We should have at least one of the most common types (reverb, delay, compressor, distortion, etc.) and any examples of the more interesting options! Chosing is challenging because this is subjective. We can do some benchmarking to rule out some that may unduely overload the CPU and we should disable any that are blatently bad (or worse than others).

I agree the default set should showcase Zynthian. They should demonstrate the depth and breadth of what it can do but should not stretch it beyond breaking point. It may be beneficial to add some snapshots with example sequences - everyone loves / hates a demo tune!

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I have created a GitHub ticket to tabulate the available plugins and track our decisions. I have only done the synth table so far.

I think we should probably add a drum set too. I tend to start with piano, organ and drums the adjust to suit.

@jofemodo the wiki is still pointing to Last Stable ZynthianOS. Would you like to fix that so that it points to the actual stable build? This is probably best done on the image site rather than / as well as the wiki hence a job for you.

2 posts were split to a new topic: Tape Echo Emulation

Hi @riban !

I just redirected all the links to the latest updated stable SD image.



Just wondering if there is a release page/notes or something. I think I have about 3 “last stable” downloads with no idea on versioning. Might be useful to identify release versions so us average punters know when the last stable isn’t actually the last stable as identified by Riban above.

Are we still torrenting the download somewhere?

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I understand that keeping the wiki pages streamlined can help a new user get through the steps, but I too find the lack of any rev. date or version on the Last Stable ZynthianOS download page kind of vague for such a major action.
(If things are thrashed, a fresh start with a known newer version may worth the effort in some cases)

I did notice the “ZynthianOS Nightly Builds” link brings up a list, currently showing “zynthianos-last-stable.zip 2021-03-25 17:03”

Though the web interface splash screen System Build Date: is 2020-09-05, I don’t know what that date is based on vs Last Stable ZynthianOS date, which I wouldn’t know where to find in the Zynthian…